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Messages - RDPreus

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1
Your Turn / Re: Early Retirement
« on: Yesterday at 12:45:44 PM »
When I was sixty-five, I told my congregation I would retire when I was sixty-seven.  And I did.  I miss preaching.  On the other hand, I love sitting next to my wife during the Divine Service, hearing a good sermon, and receiving the Sacrament with everybody else.  I have a good pastor, for which I am grateful.   

2
Your Turn / Re: Understanding issues/working together
« on: October 12, 2021, 10:06:48 PM »
I'm curious to know if Revs. Benke and Austin plan on reading Mollie Hemmingway's new book.

3
Your Turn / Re: Twenty Years from Now
« on: October 10, 2021, 10:49:40 AM »
You watched all star wrestling?  Did you vote for Jesse Ventura? :o

4
Your Turn / Re: Marva Dawn +
« on: May 13, 2021, 03:17:44 PM »
M. Becker, have you changed your opinion on women's ordination since 1997?

5
It really is possible to ignore threads and posts that we find annoying, but it isn't easy.  I understand.  You are a radical liberal and I am a stick in the mud dead orthodox conservative, but we are both argumentative at heart.  So, concerning posts that annoy, let me, in the words of former President Bill Clinton, say to you: "I feel your pain."   :)

6
You claim to read the Lutheran confessions. But you sure don’t write like any Lutheran I ever knew.

That's because he isn't a Lutheran.  In his profile on Luther Quest he identifies his denomination as SDA. 

7
Your Turn / Re: National Day of Prayer
« on: May 08, 2021, 10:27:01 PM »
This is a pointless argument. Neither Rolf nor Charles can command God as to how He will respond to prayers. Rolf cannot forbid God's actions nor can Charles force them. God will do what He wants to do. God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians. For those who pray who have repudiated the Christ whom He sent to them in fulfillment of His promises, that is up to God. That He hears and knows the prayers of everyone should be apparent from His omniscience and omnipresence. He will respond according to His wisdom, love, and purpose. That is enough for me. Personally, I am not at all anxious to meet in prayer or in person the Holy God without Christ the Redeemer as my advocate. But He promised to be my advocate. That is all I really need to know. How He will respond to those who have repudiated the Christ, ignore Him, or never heard of Him is His business not mine.

Seeking the oh so reasonable synthesis between two opposing positions may (or may not!) be the means of facilitating productive discussion.  When one does so however, he should first make sure that he correctly identifies the opposing positions.  I would not dream of speaking for Rev. Austin, but I doubt he thinks he can force God to do anything and, speaking for myself, I do not think that I can forbid God to do anything.  So then, let's dismiss that little piece of foolishness and ask the question: Is the promise Jesus gives us Christians about prayer the basis for a sound theology of prayer that applies, not just personally to ourselves, but to everyone else as well?  Rev. Fienen, when you say that you ~personally~ are not anxious to meet God without Christ the Redeemer as your advocate are you saying that nobody in the whole world should want to meet God without Christ the Redeemer as his advocate?  I assume this is so.  If this is so, why do you plead ignorance about how God will respond to those who have repudiated Christ?  Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”  If I were to conclude from this that the Father will not favorably hear the prayers of those who repudiate Jesus, would you reply by saying that it’s up to God to make such a determination?  Hasn’t he already done so?

8
Your Turn / Re: National Day of Prayer
« on: May 08, 2021, 02:35:30 PM »
A)  I'm walking down the street in the spring in New York.  The air is filled with pollen, and I sneeze.  A Muslim person, walking by, calls out "God bless you."  Am I blessed through his prayer?

B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?

C)  I pay for my dollar meal at McDonald's with a five, and the Hindu kid in the window gives me four singles, all of which say "In God We Trust."  Should I accept the change, coming from him, or has the money been tarnished?  What do I do with the burger, which has been handed to me by someone who believes a cow is sacred?

Syncretistically and Unionistically yours,

Dave Benke

Dave, I am happy to answer your very thoughtful and serious questions.

A)   I'm walking down the street in the spring in New York.  The air is filled with pollen, and I sneeze.  A Muslim person, walking by, calls out "God bless you."  Am I blessed through his prayer?

Answer: No, you are not.


B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

Answer: God can bless people through pain, so perhaps all of your singing may be the occasion for God blessing somebody.  Don’t grab a beer because it’s bad and overpriced.

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?

Answer:  First, ask yourself why you are so fixated on the blessings achieved by prayers.  Take out your worn copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, read it for the hundredth time, and repeat one hundred times: "Everything Peale says about prayer is wrong."  If you pray with a Presbyterian (or any other Calvinist) don't wear your Some Lives Matter T shirt.


C)  I pay for my dollar meal at McDonald's with a five, and the Hindu kid in the window gives me four singles, all of which say "In God We Trust."  Should I accept the change, coming from him, or has the money been tarnished?  What do I do with the burger, which has been handed to me by someone who believes a cow is sacred?

Answer: First of all, you should not eat anything at McDonalds.  You’re not getting any younger and that stuff will kill you.  Second, if you wanted to avoid syncretism on coins and currency you couldn’t use cash money.  Third, by all mean you should buy meat from Hindus and liquor from Muslims.  It’s a wonderful confession of Christian freedom!

9
Your Turn / Re: National Day of Prayer
« on: May 08, 2021, 01:01:52 PM »
Pastor Preus:
I am opposed to syncretism in all of its forms and therefore I oppose such things as the National Day of Prayer or prayer in the public schools.
Me:
Good for you. Me, too; but the National Day of Prayer doesn’t bother me that much.
Syncretism, as you use the word, is a wooly word. Do you believe God hears the prayers of Jews or Muslims? Or should?

Hears, as you use the word, is a wooly word.  Yes and no.  Yes, in that God hears everything.  He is God, after all.  No, in that there is no true prayer apart from faith in Christ, for it is only through faith in Christ that we can know God as our loving Father who hears and answers our prayers.

10
Your Turn / Re: National Day of Prayer
« on: May 08, 2021, 11:08:19 AM »
Rev. Austin, I wrote above that the National Day of Prayer falls in the week before Rogate Sunday and that this was an opportunity for everyone to hear what Jesus has to say about prayer.  I posted the Gospel Lesson for Rogate Sunday and said, “What better way for us to evaluate the National Day of Prayer than in light of these words of our Savior?”  To this you replied, “No, Pastor Preus, the better way to evaluate a call for a national day of prayer is to recognize that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.”  I responded, “We all know that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.  Is this not good reason for us to evaluate the National Day of Prayer in light of what our Lord Jesus says?  Or should we not consider what Jesus says about prayer?  Rev. Austin, what is your point?”  You replied, “My point, Pastor Preus , is that given the reality of our national civic and religious situation, I see no point in fussing about a Day of prayer because the words do not meet your particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer.”

I talked about what Jesus has to say about prayer.  I cited from the Bible what Jesus says about prayer.  I said that we should evaluate the National Day of Prayer in light of what Jesus says about prayer.  You disagreed.  You wrote, “I see no point in fussing about a Day of prayer because the words do not meet your particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer.”  My “particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer” is to listen to what Jesus says about prayer.  How can a Christian oppose evaluating our “national civil and religious situation” in light of what the Lord Jesus says?  Why do you identify what Jesus says with my “particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer”?  Don’t you believe what Jesus says about prayer?

I am opposed to syncretism in all of its forms and therefore I oppose such things as the National Day of Prayer or prayer in the public schools.  I oppose such things because I believe what Jesus says in the Bible about prayer and what he says cannot be made to agree with prayers to a generic deity who neither begets nor is begotten.  It doesn’t matter whether Ronald Reagan or Joe Biden is president.  The very idea that Americans of different religions can nevertheless join together in prayer contradicts what the Lord Jesus Christ clearly teaches.

11
Your Turn / Re: National Day of Prayer
« on: May 07, 2021, 09:42:39 AM »
No, PastorvPreus, the better way to evaluate a call for a national day of prayer is to recognize that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.

We all know that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.  Is this not good reason for us to evaluate the National Day of Prayer in light of what our Lord Jesus says?  Or should we not consider what Jesus says about prayer?  Rev. Austin, what is your point?

12
Your Turn / Re: National Day of Prayer
« on: May 07, 2021, 09:22:13 AM »
Thank you, Mike.

What better way for us to evaluate the National Day of Prayer than in light of these words of our Savior?

St. John 16:23 30 
"And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father." His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God."

13
Your Turn / Re: National Day of Prayer
« on: May 07, 2021, 08:47:02 AM »
I don't know if it is deliberate, but the National Day of Prayer falls in the week before Rogate Sunday.  Here's an opportunity for everyone to hear what Jesus has to say about prayer.

14
Your Turn / Re: Lutheranism the key to happiness?
« on: May 05, 2021, 10:56:16 AM »
Lower expectations.  That's the ticket. 

In the US every child is mentored to believe they can one day be President.  The odds are roughly 300,000,000 to one.  The Lutheran concept of vocation allows for fulfillment, dignity and yes - happiness without being the straw that stirs the drink.  Plus existence is grace-based.  On the other hand, you can keep the Norwegians.  No thank you.  I prefer the Finns.

Dave Benke

Where does your attitude toward Norwegians come from? 

15
Your Turn / Re: Beyond Order
« on: May 04, 2021, 10:24:51 AM »
I read the Atlantic article until it required me to subscribe to continue reading.  It appears to me that the author of the article has her own personal axe to grind against the man.

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